Gratitude – why, when and how?

by Jill Schroder

We all know that gratitude is transformative but it sometimes seems particularly challenging when there is so much deeply amiss.  COVID drags on and on with all its attendant problems, restrictions and consequences. It sure seems hard to call up gratitude easily.

Thanksgiving in the US is coming up in a couple of days and there are widespread warnings based on the spikes in  COVID cases after Canadian Thanksgiving in October, not to mention the chaotic aftermath of the US elections, injustice, inequity, greenhouse gases, money in politics.…you know the drill.

I came across this beautiful quote by Brother David Steindl Rast, and find it speaks to the question as to when and how we express gratitude.

Not for everything that’s given to you can you really be grateful. You can’t be grateful for war in a given situation, or violence, or domestic violence, or sickness, things like that. There are many things for which you cannot be grateful. But in every moment, you can be grateful. For instance, the opportunity to learn something from a very difficult experience, how to grow by it, or even to protest, to stand up, and take a stand. That is a wonderful gift in a situation in which things are not the way they ought to be. So opportunity is really the key when people ask, can you be grateful for everything? No, not for everything, but in every moment.”

Here is an all time favorite of mine, a video I am very grateful for. Thank you Louis Schwartzberg!

I am grateful that my two teen granddaughters and I are in a WhatsApp group and share clips and quotes we like. This week the theme is rainbows. I love the connection.

What are you grateful for in this moment? And this one? And this one? I’d love to hear. We’re in this together.



  1. We have a book club that has been meeting every Wednesday from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at our home for several years now. We serve various kinds of tea while the participants provide the “goodies”. We choose a book that focuses on Buddhist teachings. We each take turns reading from the book and we interrupt shamelessly to mention something from our own lives. It’s probably the cheapest therapy any of us have participated in. We have three/four “certified/trained” buddhists who teach us as well.

    We share the names of resources that are aimed at making this world a better place including gratitude and the seven grandfather teachings – Bravery, Humility, Honesty, Love, Truth, Respect and Wisdom.

  2. Jill, you’re so right; gratitude shapes our attitude which transforms us in the moment and beyond.
    Thank you for your wisdom which lightens the load and brings many smiles! The video also added its own special warmth.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *